Two cases illustrate some of the problems with the use of outside counsel for internal investigations. The possibility that a conflict of interest could arise when an attorney or law firm simultaneously represents an organization and one or more of its officers or directors is a recurring issue. A ruling earlier this month by U.S. District
Roy A. Ginsburg, of Dorsey & Whitney LLP and the blog Quirky Employment Questions, penned an article in the May/June 2008 edition of Business Law Today: Conducting Investigations of Wrongful Workplace Conduct. The first issue he tackles is whether employees are obligated to participate in a company investigation. He says the answer is yes. That
Lawyers must protect their clients’ confidence, but they can’t aid in the commission of a potential crime. The Wall Street Journal covered some of the facts leading up to the “noisy withdrawal” of Thomas Sjoblom of Proskauer Rose LLP from their representation of the Stanford Financial Group: Top Lawyer’s Withdrawal From Stanford Case Waves a
Staples fired sales director Alan S. Noonan was fired for padding his expense report. Executive Vice President Jay Baitler sent an e-mail to approximately 1,500 employees explaining the reason for the firing. The e-mail contained no untruths, but Mr. Noonan sued for defamation anyhow. Unfortunately for Staples, truth is not a defense in Massachusetts if
Stavros Gadinis a Post-Graduate Fellow at Harvard Law School has published a paper: Is Investor Protection the Top Priority of Sec Enforcement? Evidence from Actions Against Broker. Abstract: Recent financial collapses have focused policymakers’ attention on the financial industry. To date, empirical studies have concentrated on corporate issuer activity, such as securities offerings and class
Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania introduced Senate Bill 445: A bill to provide appropriate protection to attorney-client privileged communications and attorney work product. The bill: “Prohibits federal prosecutors and investigators across the executive branch from requesting or conditioning charging decisions on an organization’s reasonable assertion of attorney-client privilege or decision to pay of attorneys fees
Grant Thornton put together a comprehensive report: Hear that whistle blowing! Establishing an effective complaint-handling process. (August 2006, .pdf) They have developed the MACH process which consists of six basic steps: Receive the complaint; Analyze the complaint; Investigate the complaint; Resolve the complaint; Report the resolution of the complaint; and Retain the necessary documentation.